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3/25/04 - Athens

Dead Infant Found Behind Applebee's

A newborn infant was found dead in Athens behind the Applebee's Grill and Bar on Hwy 31. Police are waiting for autopsy results to determine if the baby was still born, killed and dumped, or left to die in a wooded area behind Applebee's. A lawn care worker, who works for Applebee's, found the dead infant yesterday morning after he noticed a foul smell. Police say the newborn boy's body was lying on its back, his head twisted to the side. Its umbilical cord was still attached. Police say the body was intact and partially decomposed. The detective on the case has been working with the Athens Police Department for 20 years and says this case is unique.

"I have never in my police career seen this happen," Lt. Detective Charles Gurley said. "We've had children that was killed before, but different means, not one just casted away like this. To me, it's like a piece of trash, you know. They just threw it away, like it didn't mean anything to them. And this child deserves justice."

Gurley says he's waiting for autopsy results from Dallas to determine also how long the infant's body had been there. Police have no suspects at this time. Meanwhile, police are asking for your help with any information that might help them find the infant's parents or any suspects. You should call the Athens Police Department at 903-675-2977.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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